Because being a military spouse is hard.
My heart is sick and hurting today. A fellow military spouse whose husband is assigned to Fort Bragg took her and her children's lives recently.
All I can think about is her spouse. Working hard to serve his country overseas on a deployment, and his wife was struggling with more than she could bear, at home.
I can't speculate on her condition; nor can I speculate on the whys or the what ifs. What I can do is stop everything I am doing right now and try to grab the attention of every military spouse I know and tell you that you aren't alone. You don't have to be alone.
I was mentored by a fellow military spouse at our first duty station. She became a great friend, and along the way she taught me and many other women about the importance of taking care of families and spouses. No matter who they are, you must take care of them. We must take care of each other. Do the hard work to bring other spouses into the fold and intentionally build relationships with people so that every spouse feels connected and every spouse has support.
If you are struggling, please reach out to someone. Tell someone about your struggles. Ask for help. If you feel like you don't have a person you can go to, there are many resources available to you.
1. Army MWR Military and Family Life Counselors (MFLCs)
These counselors operate without keeping any records. They are completely free, and available for families and soldiers alike. According to the Fort Bragg MWR website:
They provide support to individuals, couples, Families and groups for a range of issues including, but not limited to: deployment stress, reintegration, relocation adjustment, separation, anger management, conflict resolution, parenting, parent/child communication, relationship/family issues, coping skills, homesickness, and grief and loss. All MFLCs, provide confidential non-medical counseling services face-to-face, on and off of military installations.
2. Military OneSource Confidential Counseling
Military OneSource is a great way to get counseling through in-person sessions, phone sessions, or even online chat.
3. Unit Chaplain
Fort Bragg has the Watters Chaplain Counseling center, and they can help direct you to your unit chaplain for any help.
4. Family Member Behavioral Health
On Fort Bragg, you can simply walk in to the FMBH clinic without an appointment.
5. TRICARE Self-referral
Family members can see an in-network behavioral health provider without a referral for up to 8 covered visits. If you need help immediately, this is an amazing tool.
I have compiled this list of resources for the Army community here at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but most of these services are available to all branches of the military at most installations around the world.
Bottom line: please reach out if you are struggling. It is never too late to ask for help. You matter too much and you are too valuable not to get help.
As a spouse, you are important. You are so important. Please don't give up.
Erin love to write about topics that families are interested in, to help spread awareness throughout the community, and to help her clients and future clients better understand her services. She loves chatting with people about her blogs, so feel free to contact her!